Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Unexpected Pre-Incan Tomb Findings

After 18 years of excavating in San Jose where only female

remains have been found, an unexpected male was uncovered

among priestesses of the pre-inca society located in Peru. He was

found in a double chambered wooden tomb with a copper lattice

and a gilded mask, sitting on a raised platform inside of the

coffin.This unexpected find may uncover why so far only

female elite bodies have been found even though both men

and woman were seen through art work as rulers. Excavation

leader Castillo Butters suspects that this mask might have been

removed from another coffin because it was similar to another

mask that was found.

The bottom left is a picture of the unique double chambered tomb in which the elite male

was found. He is believed to have ruled along side more famous priestesses and

then buried with these women. The tomb is fairly empty which means that items

and bodies were most likely removed. The males coffin is found pushed up

against the upper right side of the tomb and appears that "the male was not

actually the tomb's primary resident," as stated by anthropologist Steve Bourget.


Jessica Paiva

Period 3

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beauty Through the Ages

Last week in AP World we talked about footbinding, and you all groaned in disgust about the deformity that Chinese women had to endure. But suffering for beauty was not a new thing, even for the Song Dynasty centuries ago. In fact, as long as people have been able to admire themselves in mirrors or pools of water, people have been enduring tremendous pain for the sake of being accepted in society.

Perhaps the first time that this occurred in history was with the ancient Egyptians. You may remember King Tut's fabulous black eyeliner in that recreated image of him. That's nothing compared to what the women did to themselves. They used crocodile you-know-what as a sort of mud bath, and their eye make-up was made of malachite (a green ore of copper), lead sulfide, and kohl, which consisted of soot, metal, and animal fat. All this metal on their thin eyelids meant irritability, insomnia, and mental decrease! They lost brain power for beauty...

The Greeks took it even farther. They put lead all over their face, not just on the eyes. It was a white lead face cream that was supposed to "clear complexions and improve the texture of the skin". But before you pick this up from Wal-mart, you should know that this lead to skin ruptures, madness and infertility. Despite knowing of these health risks, Romans even joined in on putting this stuff on their face, and adding red led for a healthy rose glow. Well, healthy-looking at least.

There's a cool link I found about the different body shapes that were popular from the 1700's through the 80's. What's interesting is that pretty much every body shape has been popular at one time or another. Check it out and come to your own conclusions...analyzing documents like this will be very important! Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tweeting Before Twitter?

"Stiff gale ahead, then calm and clear. Lat: 59-29. Long: 3-10. Azimuth 40. Brutus and Artaxerxes. Cards."

This is one of many excerpts from John Adam's diary that are being uploaded to Twitter as tweets in their original form. The Massachusetts Historical Society began to upload these 200 year old tweets on August 5th, 2009. His "tweets" are incredibly condensed and far beyond the 140 character limit. They follow him traveling to Russia as a U.S. minister. His tweets will discuss many objects including meals, weather, stories on the sea and much more.
-Joseph L., Period 7

Ancient Ointment

In 2005, Italian archaeologists discovered 2,000+ year old lotion left nearly intact in the cosmetic case of an aristocratic Etruscan woman. While excavating a necropolis near the Tuscan town of Chiusi, an intact tomb, dating to c. 250 BCE, was found. It bore the name of Thana Presnti Plecunia Umranalisa, a member of one of the most important aristocratic families of Chiusi. The archaeologists’ discovery was only recently made public after chemical analysis revealed the original compounds of the ancient lotion.


--Shahriyar J., Period 7

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

1st Century Shipwrecks Found Near Ventotene

Archaeologists have recently discovered five shipwrecks from the Roman-era deep under the Mediterranean. The ships contain many amphorae (ceramic vases used for storing food) which may have contained wine, olive oil, and fish sauce. Other things found on the ships include mortaria (large bowls) and Campanian wine. The ships appear to have been transporting goods from North Africa, Italy and Spain. It is thought that the ships sunk during a storm while heading for safe harbor on Ventotene. Some artifacts from the ships have been taken to be cleaned and put on display in the museum of Ventotene. Most of the ships appear to e untouched, lying carefully preserved on the sand for over one thousand years. These ships and their cargo have proved Ventotene to have been a major trading crossroad in the ancient world. http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/07/24/shipwrecks-italy.html

-Chase Ochrach, Period 3